Celebrating soliloquy amid endless chattering


innovation scholars artistCelebrating soliloquy amid endless chattering

Today in the age of endless conversations, chatter, social media exchange; how do we celebrate dialogue with oneself?
I m asking this question because I see that not many people are able to handle success which comes through efforts of many; some are not able to handle responsibility bestowed upon them and some are too full of themselves. The result? Those who were supposed to be role models of humility, subtlety, modesty and grace end up opposite of these. May be they don’t talk to themselves enough and avoid catharsis in public.
Long ago Nehru wrote an article in a magazine criticising his behaviour using a pseudonym. Many years later it was revealed that it was actually written by him. The message was don’t worship and adore him too much, lest power goes to his head. This was aimed at warning people that without dissent and diversity, democracy will not survive. May be this message is relevant for many even today.
Recently several young and not so young, educated and uneducated innovation scholars, writers and artists got a chance to be the guest of The President of India for two weeks through a globally pioneering initiative of the President’s office. They were invited to stay and interact with mentors, visit policy makers and leaders of other relevant institutions. The purpose was to give a message that creativity counts, knowledge matters, innovations transform, and incentives inspire. They were assured that India had given them best care the country could offer. School children, college graduates, farmers, artisans, inventors and creative thinkers were now to handle this success. But, how would they do so?
They could glow in the glory of the moment and then focus on their individual life. They could become messengers of the graciousness that the President’s office invested in them. They could spread the spirit of Honey Bee Network and infect all they meet, with the virus of optimism, compassion, creativity, samvedana and collaborative problem solving. But they could just up their own way, pursue their own individual goals.
How will we ensure that this extraordinary initiative of the president makes the national and international impact that it deserves?
Will the school students honoured in this programme visit municipal and government schools and harness creativity of disadvantaged children? Will college students from top institutions like IITs help uncover great talent that lies in small institutions and small cities? May be yes. Will a farmer innovator help uncover the talent of farm workers, women and tribals? Will a writer or an artist help uncover someone more talented from the margins of our society?
These are hopes, these are responsibilities and these are milestones on a path uncertain and hazy. Dialogue within may help these scholars to question, doubt and realign their anchors in times to come.
The First Festival of Innovation March 7-13 gave an opportunity to grassroots innovators to interact with innovators in other sectors and domains. We all need to reflect, talk with ourselves and ask our inner self: will we prove worthy of the care and concern that our president has shown towards making India a creative, innovative and compassionate society?
Narendra Modi took time off on Friday and interacted with scholars in residence at Rashtrapati Bhavan and encouraged them to persist with the goal of making India an inclusive and innovative society.
What more could one ask? Time to reinforce the humility, social responsibility and the larger than life goals of sharing the social and ethical capital invested in these scholars, Amen!


Visiting Faculty, IIM Ahmedabad & IIT Bombay and an independent thinker, activist for the cause of creative communities and individuals at grassroots, tech institutions and any other walk of life committed to make this world a more creative, compassionate and collaborative place